OTL101 Post 2: Musings on Cognitive Presence

Something that stood out to me is that although I recognize that I often learn from my students (in a face-to-face context…I’ve yet to teach on-line), I think that I’ve neglected to recognize how much students learn from each other. The article certainly indicated that the teacher plays an important role as the facilitator and yet, the students are also facilitators of their learning process.

For the teacher, I think one of the most important steps in creating a learning environment that promotes cognitive presence is in the design of activities and discussion questions that promote reflection and discourse. It’s not just about having activities that rely on factually-based answers, but rather activities that broaden one’s perspectives and encourages one to think outside the box – to amalgamate information from a variety of sources, including one’s own personal experience.

I concur with some of the statements made by other bloggers for posts “101 #2”, that the focus must be on higher order thinking processes and an emphasis on community that encourages debate, problem-solving, and idea integration.

My question is, “How do we best guide students into each phase of the Practical Inquiry Model?” I’m especially curious about tactics to guide students into the integration and resolution phases because these seemed to have the least amount of engagement in Garrison et al.’s study.

A Tidbit About Jessica (OTL101 Post 1)

Hello! Each of us has so many aspects to ourselves that it’s hard to narrow it done to just a few tidbits for an introductory post – don’t want to write a novel! I thought I’d go with the suggestion of creating a word cloud and including the image. One of my passions is Restorative Justice (RJ) – I have been a volunteer in the field since 2009 and am currently the acting executive director for Restorative Justice Victoria. RJ can be used as diversion from the traditional justice system but can also be used in tandem with the traditional system. Responsible parties (i.e., offenders) must take accountability for their actions and work together with the affected parties (victims) and/or members of the community to create an agreement of what they can do to begin to make amends in a meaningful way. Over the years I’ve worked with many responsible and affected parties to address a variety of crimes and harms. My word cloud reflects some of the words used by these individuals when describing their RJ process as well as descriptions used by individuals who work in the field.